Wow! Where to start!
So much has happened in the last few days.
While we waited for our referral from the SDA our driver Eugen took us on a tour of the historical sites in town. He is so knowledgable and gave us a great education about the history here. The buildings are amazing and the weather was pretty good.
Receiving the referral was, well shall we say uneventful, praise the Lord!
About six of us families crowded into a little space which did not smell good. We waited about 10 minutes. Went through a line, showed our passports and walked out with our dossier in hand.
It was so fast and no questions, yippee! (I guess all that worrying paid off. Lol)
We did get to visit with the other families, which again was a huge blessing. I (Stacy) was in great need of some girl conversation. The other moms are so sweet and refreshing, but we were all on our way to new things so our time together was short.
We then got ready for the train ride which I had been totally mistaken about. Thankfully I googled it before we got on. It was actually a 12 1/2 hour ride and yes it was hot and the bathrooms, ugh!
We survived the train and immediately started to work on paperwork. Our facilitator is amazing and very efficient. We ran to multiple buildings and got the paperwork moving then went to the orphanage. When our girl came in we were surprised, we didn't know she was coming so soon. We were very happy to see her, but it was a bit stressful. There was no time to talk to her. We had lots of paperwork to do, but she was so cute! She instantly grabbed a pen and quickly wrote her letter saying she wanted to be adopted by us. They asked if she had questions for us and she said "nyet"! They joked that she already knew everything about us.
We all said goodbye and she was off to lunch.
Honestly I was very disappointed and sad.
We were very tired and emotional and came back to our new flat feeling a bit defeated.
Our girl was great, but the meeting felt very much like a business transaction.
Our apartment building seemed very questionable from the outside. We survived the black-out on the elevator thanks to our driver and made it inside our flat. Wow! The inside has been nicely remodeled and looks very fancy, but we were very shocked by the wall hangings. We won't go into detail but they we're all immediately covered with anything we could find. We asked to change apartments but it seems that isn't a good option.
After a wonderful nights sleep we headed off to do more paperwork, then we got to go hang out with our girl for almost three hours!
We had no translator and were in a room full of stuffed animals and board games.
We showed her through the picture book we made for her, gave her cards from the kids and her necklaces the girls made. Then she had us follow her to her locker and she showed us her picture book. She seemed so excited to show us. We asked if we could see her art (via Google translate). She took us on a tour, up the elevator to the different art rooms. I am not biased and not even over exaggerating. She is an amazing artist. It seems the teachers do a great job helping the kids to independently do many different kinds of art.
Here are just a couple of examples of her work.
After the tour we went back to the rooms and pulled out the maps we brought. And told her more about where we live.
Then her and I played a game of dot to dot. A fun and simple game to explain when you do not speak the same language. I was't sure how easy to be on her, but it seems she is one smart cookie. We took turns challenging each other and being too nice to each other. I think next time she will be up for a good mind challenging game.
Then she pulled out the UNO cards and taught us her rules. Just slightly different than we play. She was quick to keep Jeromy on track and ran the whole show. Dealing and keeping track of whose turn it is.
After about three games of that she pulled out a game we have never seen.
She seemed to have a good sense of adding and subtracting big numbers in the money game.
With a phone call from our facilitator, we were off - more paperwork then "home" for lunch.
We have been so blessed that all of the paperwork is coming together.
We have had a couple of major issues, but they got settled very quickly.
We already have a court date scheduled for April 12th, pending the next set of paperwork from the SDA.
If we get the paperwork, it will probably be the evening of April 11th.
Please pray we get it, if not we cannot have court until April 17th at the earliest. They will have a long weekend for their Easter holiday (Eastern Orthodox Calendar).
Thank you all for your encouragement, support and prayers!